Media Resources

News Releases

Bookmark and Share

Northrop Grumman Establishes In-House Land-Based Test and Training Facility for U.S. Navy's Newest Amphibious Assault Ship

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 6, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has opened a land-based test and training facility to provide specialized training for U.S. Navy personnel in operating and maintaining the machinery control system (MCS) being installed on the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, the USS Makin Island (LHD-8).

The 2,700-square-foot, seven-room complex, located inside the Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine plant in Charlottesville, Va., contains a configurable suite of networked MCS hardware and software, providing shipboard personnel with realistic hands-on training in a simulated environment. The facility contains dedicated conference rooms for meetings and training sessions, and will also be used to develop and test new software applications and hardware configurations.

"This facility is a model for contractor-provided training for future ships and systems," said John DeMaso, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Naval & Marine Systems division, which includes Sperry Marine. "It's been designed for easy expansion to support new classes of ships, such as the new amphibious ship, LHA-R, and other programs as may be desired by the customer."

The operators will interface with the tactical hardware and software used on the ship via a sophisticated simulation/stimulation suite, enabling training for normal and casualty operation scenarios. The facility also provides for hands-on maintenance training using tactical hardware in an electronic classroom environment in which the full suite of Sperry-developed Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals will be available. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics to support highly interactive design reviews with the customer, facilitating rapid human-machine interface development with maximum customer involvement.

The Makin Island is a transformational multipurpose amphibious assault ship currently under construction by Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector in Pascagoula, Miss. It's the first Navy LHD ship built with gas turbine engines and electric drive, as well as all-electric auxiliary systems and sophisticated command, control and combat systems. Sperry Marine is responsible for developing and installing the ship's platform management system, which encompasses all aspects of ship machinery control and damage control in an integrated network. The ship is scheduled for delivery in May 2007.

Capt. Rich Hooper, the Navy LHD program manager, noted that, "This facility is a major risk-reduction tool for machinery control system software development and software discrepancy correction. It will support a robust pre-commissioning crew-familiarization process. Ultimately, this facility will allow the ship's commanding officer and chief engineer to be exceptionally confident in the integrity of the MCS and the ability of their sailors to operate it efficiently at sail-away."

Sperry Marine, with worldwide headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., and major engineering and support offices in Melville, N.Y., New Malden, U.K., and Hamburg, Germany, is part of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. Sperry Marine provides smart navigation and ship control solutions for the international marine industry with customer service and support through offices in 16 countries, sales representatives in 47 countries and authorized service depots in more than 250 locations worldwide.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.

For commercial sales inquiries, contact Sperry Marine by phone, +1 434 974 2656 or by e-mail, sales_commercial@sperry.ngc.com. For military sales inquiries call, +1 434 974 2134 or by e-mail, sales_military@sperry.ngc.com. Visit our web site at www.sperrymarine.northropgrumman.com.

CONTACT:  Jim Rhodes 
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (757) 451-0602
          jrhodes@rhodescomm.com 

          Marc Abshire
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (410) 765-3397
          marc.abshire@ngc.com